Church of the Dormition (1774), Southeast View, Kondopoga, Russia


This southeast view of the Church of the Dormition in Kondopoga (Karelia) was taken in 2000 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Located on an inlet of Lake Onega (visible here), Kondopoga existed as a settlement by the late 15th century. In the mid-18th century its significance increased with the discovery in two nearby villages of sources of marble, used for the construction of some of Saint Petersburg's most notable buildings. The Church of the Dormition, built in 1774, stands like a beacon at the water's edge. With its soaring vertical form, the church is one of the most impressive landmarks of north Russian wooden architecture. The central part of the church is a two-story square structure of pine logs, buttressed on the eastern side with a large apse that culminates in a flared barrel gable and a cupola covered with aspen shingles. The central component supports an octagonal tower crowned by a “tent” roof 15 meters in height, with a cupola and cross. (The entire structure approaches 50 meters.) At its west end, the church has a vestibule (trapeznaia) with a secondary altar. On both the north and south sides, the vestibule is approached by flights of stairs supported by cantilevered logs and covered with a decorated roof.

Last updated: January 11, 2016